Rajasthan culture is a blend of history and modern lifestyle. Royals and commoners live together, making the state and its culture vibrant and attractive. Similarly, the festivals are full of life and are celebrated with zeal.

Photo by Monaal Garg

We brought you the most popular festivals of Rajasthan.

1) Teej

Teej festival is celebrated by married and spinster women. Married women take the blessings of Goddess Parvati for marital bliss, while spinsters pray for a good husband. Women fast and pray throughout the night. During the morning, they take a bath, wear red sarees and jewelry and begin their worship. The shringar set recommended by us is https://amzn.to/3HFgaLM

The legend behind the festival is that Goddess Parvati took birth 108 times before being united with Lord Shiva. The Tripolia gate in Jaipur is specially opened for this festival. Various dance forms like Chakri, Kalbeliya, and Ghoomar are performed. Ghewar sweet is considered an auspicious gift. The festival also welcomes the upcoming heavy rains.

When– Between July to September

Where– Rajasthan

Experience– Flowers are suspended to create a tree swing for women to sit on. Royal processions of Teej Mata happen throughout the city with dancers and bands accompanying it.

Devotees carrying Teej Mata in procession.Photo by mysticindiatour.com

2) Jaisalmer desert festival

Organized by the Tourism department of Rajasthan, the motive of the festival is to attract tourists from all over the world. It is a 3-day festival including competitions like turban tying and best-dressed camels. Famous folk singers perform. The major attraction is Rajasthani folk song and dance. An extremely popular competition is the mustache competition, also known as Maru Shri, in which the person with the longest mustache wins. It is a much loved competition amongst foreigners. Panihari matka race also takes place. In this, women hold watered pots on their heads and compete with each other. Before you visit the place, you can learn about the culture of Rajasthan by reading about it here https://amzn.to/3Wp9lSK

Local food vendors and sweet marts are also part of the festival. Souvenirs and handicrafts are great takeaways from here

When– February

Where– Jaisalmer

Experience– Tourists can enjoy puppet shows, acrobats, snake charmers, folk performances, artwork sellers, and fire dances. All of this adds to the charm of the festival.

Camels getting ready at Jaisalmer Desert Festival. Photo by consciousjourneys.com

3) Gangaur

Gangaur festival preparations and celebrations go on for 18 days. Wheat is sown in earthen pots and watered till it germinates. Women fast and restrict themselves to one meal a day during these 18 days. They dress in their bright, colorful clothes and apply henna (mehndi) on their hands. You can apply mehndi from the comfort of your home by purchasing it here https://amzn.to/3FYa9bM.  Women make clay idols of Goddesses and decorate them. On the day of the festival, songs of Shiva and Gauri are sung. They take the idols and pots on their heads in procession to a water body. The idols are then immersed in water, and the pots broken, to mark the departure of goddess Gauri. Gangaur is one of the most celebrated festivals in Rajasthan.

When– March Or April

Where– Rajasthan

Experience– The royal family members also celebrate this festival with the public. Women wear their best clothes and jewelry, and engage in folk dance and music after their prayers.

Women dressed in their finest for Gangaur. Photo by indianeagle.com

4) Pushkar Camel fair

The Pushkar camel fair is one of the biggest livestock fairs in India. The focus is on the camel, horse, and cattle trading. It is a popular tourist attraction. The festival depicts the culture of Pushkar, a state in Rajasthan, and the tribal people of the desert. Camels are dressed up, paraded, raced, and traded. Musicians, dancers, acrobats, magicians, and carousel rides entertain the crowds. Dunes filled with camels make for a spectacular sight. These also look great as paintings which you can put up in your home as a reminder of the festival.

When– November for 5-8 days

Where– Pushkar

Experience– Camel rides are the highlight of the festival. Besides that, you can also enjoy temple dancing, spiritual and heritage walks, and arts and crafts bazaars.

Camels getting ready for the fair. Photo by pushkar-camel-fair.com

5) Braj Holi

Braj Holi is in honor of Lord Krishna. Raas Leela dance form is the focus of the festival. This dance form depicts the love story of Krishna and Radha. Everyone wears colorful clothes and dances to folk music. The entire town is lit up the previous evening, and everyone is in high spirits. On the day of the festival, people gather in the morning at Radha Krishna temples to offer prayers. Color is splashed on everyone as a part of the fun celebrations. There are various types of Holi, like Gulaal Holi, Laddu Holi, and Dudh Dahi Holi. Braj Holi is celebrated a few days before the actual festival of Holi.

When– March

Where– Bharatpur

Experience– Fountain shows, folk artists, and Raas Leela dance make the festival an exciting occasion for all. The festive spirit is felt everywhere in the city of Bharatpur.

People celebrating Braj Holi with colors. Photo by traveltradejournal.com

6) Mewar festival

Mewar festival is a time to rejoice as it marks the arrival of the spring season. Plenty of international tourists come to attend the festival. People dress in specific attire to respect tradition. Women typically wear traditional clothes with plenty of jewelry. Men also dress traditionally and wear statement pieces of jewelry. Women gather to dress the idols of Goddess Gauri and Lord Vishnu. These can be purchased online as well. https://amzn.to/3HHtSO3

There are processions around the city that ultimately reaches Lake Pichola. Here pictures are captured on the boats in the Lake. The idols are transferred to special boats, and then set afloat in the Lake. This festival coincides with the Gangaur festival in the rest of Rajasthan. This festival helps to preserve the heritage of the city.

When– March or April

Where– Udaipur

Experience– Besides following religious traditions, the local markets and shops are also beautifully lit. There are firework displays, folk dances, songs, and other cultural acts for everyone to enjoy.

Women praying at Lake Pichola during Mewar festival. Photo by orientrailjourneys.com

7) Bundi Utsav

Bundi Utsav is organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Department with the motive to show the rich cultural heritage of the state, as well as boost tourism. Women light diyas or lamps early in the morning on the banks of the Chambal River and seek blessings. It is known as Deepdaan. It is a beautiful sight and is meant to dispel darkness. The entire town is decorated. Everyone takes part with full enthusiasm. Turban tying, mustache, and bridal clothing competitions take place. Handmade artifacts by the skilled artisans of Rajasthan are on sale in stalls. There are plenty of entertainment options like folk dance, music, etc.

When– October-November

Where– Bundi

Experience– Tourists can enjoy the Shobha Yatra, various ethnic sports, cultural exhibitions, musical band competitions, and fireworks displays. There is never a dull moment during the festival.

Women participating in shobha yatra in Bundi Utsav. Photo by travelogyindia.com